According to a newly-released transcript of Ronan Farrow’s testimony to New York state investigators in July, a text exchange indicates that CNN anchor Chris Cuomo looked into Farrow’s reporting about Governor Andrew Cuomo and relayed information to his brother’s inner circle, days before it was published
“Farrow, who famously won the Pulitzer Prize and helped launch the #MeToo movement with his reporting on disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, also took a deep dive into alleged sexual wrongdoing by former Gov. Cuomo, the CNN anchor’s older brother,” reported Fox News.
“Chris Cuomo admitted to contacting colleagues of Farrow for updates but claimed it was simply ‘business-as-usual’ to employ such methods,” Fox’s report continued. “Text messages released by state investigators showed top Andrew Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa asking about ‘intel’ the CNN anchor had about Farrow’s report on March 15, to which he replied it wasn’t ready for publication. Farrrow’s story was eventually published on March 18. “
Text messages in the exchange include, “If ronan has nothing better than thats a great sign,” “To discuss rownan [sic] convo,” and “Did u get any more intel?”
As Fox News noted, Cuomo’s admission apparently contradicts what he told CNN viewers in August when he claimed, “I never made calls to the press about my brother’s situation.”
According to the recently-released transcript, an attorney asked Chris Cuomo if he recalled Governor Cuomo’s team discussing Farrow’s article.
“They were very concerned and it kept moving. What they thought it was about was moving, when it was coming out was moving,” Cuomo said. “When Ronan Farrow writes something, people in the media are going to talk about it.”
When asked whether he discussed Farrow’s reporting with his brother, Chris Cuomo replied, “Yes.”
“Just asking him, you know, how he — how he felt about it, what was in it. And him asking me what did I think the impact of it was,” Cuomo said when asked to elaborate further. “He said that he didn’t think the article was fair, that she was being propped up and — you know, that’s it.”
“The CNN host then confirmed the ‘she’ he referenced was Lindsey Boylan, the subject of the March 18, 2021, piece written by Farrow in which she gave her first extensive interview about her claims of harassment and retaliation by the now-former governor,” Fox added. “Boylan’s allegation made to Farrow in the New Yorker came months after her initial tweet that then-Gov. Cuomo ‘sexually harassed me for years.’ Following that accusation, multiple other women came forward to accuse him of sexual harassment.”
Cuomo was then asked what he meant by the March 2021 text, “If Ronan has nothing better — better than Boylan, that’s a great sign.”
“The concern was that Ronan always has more people. You know, I mean, that’s part of his currency as a journalist, is that people come to him to expand understandings. I know he has his critics. But, to me, that’s when he’s at his best,” Cuomo said.
“So the assumption was he must have new people if he’s waiting so long to have written about this. And then he didn’t. So, what the context is specifically is: I had heard that all he was writing — the only person he was writing about was Lindsey Boylan,” Cuomo continued. “So that means that he didn’t find more people to complain that, once again, I would have to experience this team being shocked that there was another person. Which was this never ending cycle that was very hard for a family member. That was the context.”
After saying he didn’t recall any further such conversations, an attorney argued that Cuomo was asked whether there was “any more intel” three days before Farrow’s story was published, with the transcript showing he responded, “Story not ready for tomorrow.”
“They didn’t know when the Ronan piece was coming out. So I just asked people, did you hear about when the Ronan piece — we do this with him all the time. It’s a really good device that he has, that his people let you know that something’s coming, but they don’t tell you when,” CNN’s Cuomo said. “You know, so that there’s this — this constant speculation game. It’s really effective in driving interest for his articles.”
Cuomo then admitted that he contacted Farrow’s colleagues for information.
“I called a fellow journalist who works with Ronan a lot. And I didn’t want to contact Ronan directly. I know him. He’s — he’s been good to me. He’s been on my show. But I didn’t want to — I didn’t want to push up on him like that. It’s not right,” Cuomo said. “I was told nothing’s coming right away.”
“Cuomo was asked if he told CNN he was contacting people to ask about articles being written that could damage his brother,” Fox reported, with Cuomo replying, “No, not specifically.”
“There was going to be an article about my brother. So I’m interested. I wasn’t going to call the person writing it. I wasn’t going to try to influence any of the stories. And we know that that’s true because you would have read about it had I. It’s not exactly a loyalty-based business,” Cuomo said. “If I had tried to influence any of the reporting at CNN or anywhere else, I guarantee you people would know, and so would a lot of others. So the idea of one reporter calling another to find out about what’s coming down the pipe is completely business-as-usual.”
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